President Rabbit

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Our beloved leader, President Rabbit, is losing this year’s election. Can Will, his avatar animator find a way to make him trendy again?

President Rabbit

 

“In this new and exciting virtual era we are the children of tomorrow! You can be whoever you want but never change who you are!” –President Rabbit

***

“He looks like shit, Will!”

“I have time, Jezzy,” Will stared at the screen, forcing a thin smile, “I can get it, I’m just not sure why we need to change him again?”

Jezzy’s goddess avatar threw up all four of her arms in a gesture of frustration as she glowered at him from her small square at the corner of the monitor. Above her, taking up most of the screen, the slowly spinning figure of a fuzzy, grey rabbit, wearing a dark blue suit and a red tie, stared at Will with black eyes. When animated, Will knew the eyes would look kind and very wise. One ear stuck straight up, while the other folded over and bounced just a bit as the figure turned on the screen. Jezzy’s avatar stood up and started pacing around the virtual room. The camera followed her through the space and Will couldn’t help but admire the desktop she’d chosen for her office. An ancient temple, torches and old bricks with a few plush red couches to add a pop of color. Jezzy walked back to the desk. With one arm she waived the figure of the rabbit into the room with her and walked around it, taking a good look. Almost absently she said, “Are we still doing the jaunty ear?”

“It makes him look friendly… maybe a little mischievous. I like the ear.”

Jezzy squinted at the rabbit. One of her arms produced a folder from midair and she paged through it, seeming to ignore him. Will knew she was checking the trenders on social media. “It’s only at 23% on PolySci Now and #jaunty is not getting any traction at all. Lose it!”

“You said you wanted him to be edgier,” Will replied stubbornly.

“Will, you know I love you,” she stared at him directly, her avatar’s fiery, purple eyes unnerving him. “The VoxyPop event starts in 5 hours. Right now, ALL trenders are showing us running dead last. 12 points behind Trexl’s AI Princess Bot,” she looked down at the folder and grumbled under her breath, “Damn, femininity is trending now.” She turned her attention back to the camera, “We can’t let this happen. President Rabbit has taken care of us for nearly 12 years. The country needs President Rabbit and President Rabbit needs you to make him look like he’s deserving of every cent these people are willing to contribute tonight. Get it done.” Her little square went black.

Will slumped down in his chair. President Rabbit’s avatar spun slowly on the computer screen. He grabbed his stylus and went to work, carefully pulling the ear straight. When he’d finished adjusting the hair patterns and both ears were standing straight up, Will paused to consider his work. He didn’t like it.

As a young man, fresh out of the art institute, his first job had been making sex avatars for PageHottt.com. He always took his time and made sure the clients got what they wanted.  His boss had given him the title of Grand Tittier. He’d always been proud of the work, even if they were basically sex dolls. Pagehottt.com had not only been a porn site for the super rich, they were also the creators of avatar tech and the first to make it profitable. Soon, every Jane and Joe was wiring up at home and slipping onto the web in custom avatar animations. Social media became life. Who needed anything else when you could slip into a fantastic alter ego and travel anywhere you could imagine? Soon people began to take notice of outspoken avatars that dominated threads. Trenders began telling people what to think and what issues mattered.

President Rabbit had been the first politician to really understand the value of avatar tech and the new social media. He hadn’t been Rabbit then, but he knew that avatars gave politicians the ability to deliver their message to the people free of any judgments. You were never too old, too young, or too ugly. Race didn’t matter. You could focus on the important issues. Jezzy had seen Will’s work and hired him to create an avatar for her candidate, Representative James Abraham, from Neversink, NY.

The social media giant, VoxyBox had taken over the election coverage that year. Mr. Rabbit was the first fully virtual candidate to run for the highest office. He was everywhere on social media and his traditional, flesh and blood opposition just couldn’t compare. The tide really turned when Mr. Rabbit stood on the steps of the Smithsonian’s online collection to give his famous “We Are the Children of Tomorrow” speech to a virtual crowd of millions.

If you asked most people who James Abraham was, few knew or cared. No one saw him or spoke of him. BUT… ask about beloved Mr. Rabbit and everyone gushed. Trenders across social media reposted the funny dance he’d done with the Candy Prince of England while attending the royal wedding. VoxyBox crashed for nearly an hour after the so-called “Pirate Karaoke Incident.”  It was an amateur stream of Rabbit visiting friends on the SingSong virtual karaoke site. Dressed in his casual avatar, that Will had designed to wear khaki’s, a slightly tipsy Rabbit climbed on the virtual stage and sang a beautiful version of the hit song, Baby Bunny Girl. The stream was anonymously circulated around the world. Pundits from the old parties had claimed the footage was leaked but no one cared. Everyone loved Mr. Rabbit and when the newly created social media voting platform, Elect Motion, was launched, Rabbit won by the largest margin in US history.

President Rabbit had proved to be a good leader. During his first two terms he always trended very highly on all social media. His third term, he didn’t even run. The candidates were all virtual now, but they still couldn’t touch his popularity. Trenders started petitions to demand four more years of President Rabbit! Survey Poll processed nearly a billion signatures in 10 minutes. An assembly of avatars, leaders from across the world, met at the virtual center of the web, the digital monument known as Focus Square, to demand President Rabbit be allowed to run again for a chance to stay leader of the free world. President Rabbit came before them, his avatar dressed in a dark blue suit with very subtle pale blue pinstripe that Will had animated to look just a bit wrinkled, and humbly accepted the call.

Will sighed. President Rabbit’s avatar still turned in lazy circles on his screen. He’d changed the tie to purple. Purple was a color of power and excitement. Will felt neither powerful nor excited. President Rabbit stared at him from the screen with dull eyes. Will felt the realization that the only thing he would create for the rest of his life was a rabbit in a suit crash down on him in a dark depressing wave. President Rabbit needed him, but did he really need President Rabbit?

Several hours later, Will walked into Ancillary Plaza, a popular virtual venue loved by trenders. His avatar looked much like he did in the real world; tall and a little too pale with dark, every-which-way hair, faded jeans and a t-shirt. As he walked toward the stage he surveyed the avatars moving around the room. Most were beautified versions of the person who wore them. Will’s favorite were always the fantastic creations! A woman with long red hair and the body of a golden snake slithered over to speak to a small fluffy white dog with bat wings while to his left a shimmering blue cloud shifted shape turning from a small girl to a large bear, and then a collection of multicolored fireworks. He was near the stage door when he saw the mermaid. She was swimming in lazy circles, her long blond hair a swirling halo around her dainty face. The light in the room flashed across her iridescent scales. She was beautiful, but not perfect. Will smiled to himself, wishing he could create something exquisite like her.

“Jesus Will, you couldn’t clean up a bit?” Jezzy walked quickly to him scowling as she looked him up and down with her fiery purple eyes. She took his arm in two of hers and walked with him through the stage door. President Rabbit stood back stage. He smiled at them as they walked in and flicked his purple tie.

“Will my boy, I love this tie,” he nodded his head toward Jezzy, “I bet you were inspired by this one’s beautiful eyes?” Jezzy beamed at the compliment. Will just smiled thinly. President Rabbit turned back to the speech floating at eye level to his left, “Jezz, did you approve this draft? Do we need to attack the eCom party directly? Considering their trenders is that the best play?”

“President Rabbit, we need to bump your numbers. They are powerful, but the Greenlight Brigade has been on a steep influence rise.” Jezzy let go of Will’s arm and walked over to work out the finer details of the speech with her candidate. Forgotten, Will wandered back out to the main room and took a seat near the back of the auditorium, sitting between a pink man with stars for eyes and a black and white 1920s flapper. After about 10 minutes the lights dimmed and President Rabbit walked on stage. Dignified and congenial as always, the President smiled at the crowd and after an acceptable amount of applause, gestured for everyone to sit back down.

“My fellow trenders, our country is at a point of crisis….” As President Rabbit talked about the perils presented by Trexl’s AI Princess Bot and her concerning ties to the eCom party, Will felt calm and his avatar let out a little, “heh” noise. He suddenly knew how he could be free of Rabbit. Outside, in the real world, his left hand typed a quick sequence of numbers on his keyboard. He pushed the send button.

At first, the change was barely noticeable, a slight bulging, a slight lifting of the new purple tie. Soon those closest to the stage began to gasp and whisper. President Rabbit was growing boobs. Huge, round bazangas! They pushed at the fabric of his white button-down shirt, getting bigger and bigger until finally, with an audible POP one of the buttons shot from the stage, hitting a grandmotherly avatar directly between the eyes with a THUNK. There was a moment of dead silence before the room burst into laughter. President Rabbit’s huge jugs, now freed, giggled for just a moment before someone had the good sense to cut the spotlight.

***

“Where in the web have you been hiding?”

Will looked up from his drink. He’d been daydreaming about the mermaid again. How, when he found her, he would rewrite her and make her an aesthetic masterpiece. Jezzy stared down at him. She looked annoyed. It had only been a few hours since he’d slipped out of Ancillary Plaza. He’d stopped at a virtual dive bar to grab a drink to celebrate his freedom. “Look Jezzy, I’m sorry…”

“Sorry?” Jezzy cocked her head to the side for a second before scooping him up in all four of her arms and pulling him close in a too tight hug. Will pulled away and stared at her smiling face, confused. “You haven’t heard?”

“no…”

“We’ve won! Elect Motion has called the election early, no votes necessary,” she giggled excitedly, “#boobbunny is trending 92% on all social media… even higher with men 13 to 36! You did it!”

Will turned and walked toward the door, staring down at the floor. Jezzy fell in step next to him, wondering aloud if an evening gown or pantsuit would be best for the inauguration.


Submitted: August 03, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Erikka Hamilton. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Xavier St Claire

Is it sad that this seems like it’s not far from reality

Mon, August 3rd, 2020 10:17pm

Rob73

An brilliant satire on today's World.
Great writing.

Tue, August 11th, 2020 3:22am

Robert Helliger

A darkly humorously written satire.
I loved reading it.

Tue, October 20th, 2020 2:51am

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